When you become a Christian, and especially a sober one, your troubles will cease, the sky will turn rose-coloured and your bank account will get an incredible boost, right? Keep dreaming! There is no such thing as a prosperity gospel, no matter how convincingly certain preachers may propagate that idea. Jesus makes it clear that if I want to travel with Him I must be prepared for a rough ride. The difference is that He is at the wheel, and although He sometimes lets me steer just to test my navigational skills, His hand is always close by to correct my collision course.

Yes, my salvation was instantaneous, all-inclusive and eternal, and not even the tiniest part of it was of my own doing. But the God who gave me a new lease on life has also given me hands, feet and a brain (what’s left of it), and as long as I’m on His ship, He wants me on deck, not in a deck chair.

I don’t know whether I started trusting God because I changed my attitude, or whether my attitude changed because I started trusting God, or maybe a mixture of both. One thing I know for certain: My dislike for discipline has met its match. Not that I am a shining example of this virtue. I still dislike it, but I practice it to the best of my ability because I have undergone a change of heart.

As I grow in this Christ-conscious way of life, God gives me more responsibilities to handle. Some of them are the continuation of my previously neglected responsibilities, like building a healthy relationship with my sons, and I thank God for these two fine young men in my life. Some are new responsibilities, like my present marriage, which I believe is the last opportunity that God has granted me. And to top it off He gave me a stunning daughter, too. I think in God’s dictionary the word ‘responsibility’ is spelled b-l-e-s-s-i-n g. The song “ I’m drinking from my saucer cause my cup has overflowed “ is certainly true for me!

At the time of this writing it’s been 19 years of purposeful living. A lot has happened during this period, good and bad, ups and downs, exciting and dreary, always exhausting, but through it all God has used me for His intentions, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. To travel with Jesus requires effort, and sometimes the biggest effort is the struggle against one’s own rebellious will, but the journey is exciting, and the destination and the rewards are out of this world – literally.

So… why not join me for the ride?